You'll come to love the Poronui family. Not just because our guides are on first name basis with the best trout. And not just because of our relaxed and welcoming attitude. But because over the time you spend with us, and the stories we'll share, we'll become like family. Another reason to come back to Poronui.
Eve Reilly - Lodge Manager
Irish by birth and character Eve was born in County Tipperary, Ireland. She travelled to New Zealand in 1981, to follow the footsteps of an grand-uncle who ran away to sea and eventually settled in Wellington. The lure of the country, the people and the lifestyle were all too enticing for Eve. She has been involved in the growth of the Poronui business from primitive beginnings to a world class sporting facility. That easy-going personality with an eye for detail pervades all, and she is surrounded with a team of like minded people.
Claire Hall - Assistant Lodge Manager
Claire joined Ben, her husband, at Poronui following their marriage some eight years ago. Claire’s interests and passion are many and varied - from horses, to food to fishing - and in particular - people. Her easy-going nature creates a relaxing atmosphere. Claire can turn her hand to anything. She can be found arranging flowers, cooking a sumptuous meal, guiding our guests on horseback or being Mum to her beautiful daughter Olivia and new son Bonner.
Steve Smith - General Manager
Steve Smith came to Poronui as GM for Westervelt in NZ after many years of dedicated service with Fish & Game. Steve began at Fish & Game in 1984 with the Wellington and Taranaki regions before becoming regional manager for the Eastern region, based in Rotorua. Recognised for his outstanding work both regionally and at national level, Steve continues to work privately for the interests of anglers and hunters at Westervelt. Steve is a wildlife biologist and a keen advocate for long term land and resource management. He is married to Tracey and has three children.
Grant Petherick - Head Guide
Grant has lived in Hawke’s Bay all his life and has been fly-fishing in the area and the central North Island for the past 35 years. Grant has been part of the guiding team at Poronui since 1996 and is an executive member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association. Grant’s other great interest is wine and he has operated a successful specialist wine shop and currently consults on New Zealand and international wine lists for some of the country's top resorts. His extensive travel experiences, knowledge of wine and passion for fly fishing make for very congenial company on the river.
Craig Aspinall - Guide
Craig lives and breaths fishing whether it be brown and rainbow trout or snapper and kingfish. Craig has extensive knowledge of both the backcountry streams of the Central North Island and Taupo tributaries. He has been a member of the Poronui team of fishing guides for over 13 years. Craig can often be found hard at work tying an imaginative pattern to lure the selective brown, his personal challenge!
Sean Andrews - Guide
Sean is originally from the UK and began his guiding career in Sweden twenty years ago. He has spent the last ten years in New Zealand, fulfilling his passion for stalking trout in pristine wilderness waters. Sean is an Umpqua pro-designer fly tier, and when he is not guiding he spends his time at the tying bench, developing new patterns to entice the wariest of backcountry trout.
Dave Wood - Guide
To say that Dave is passionate about fishing would be an understatement. He has been fishing for longer than he can remember. He leased the Waitahanui Lodge for several years where he lived to fish and truly refined his fishing skills on both the Taupo tributaries and the back country rivers. He is a member of the Taupo Fishing Advisory Council that represents angler’s interests in the Taupo area. Dave manages to combine fishing with travel and family life, his wife Sofia and three boys Liam, Benjamin and Colin. Dave approaches life with great enthusiasm, energy and humour. His love of the outdoors, back country New Zealand, and fishing in particular is infectious. That coupled with his many travel stories makes for a most enjoyable and informative day or overnight camp.
Derek Nees - Guide
Derek went to school in Wellington and took full advantage of the variety of rivers in that area. His university days were no different and he expanded his repertoire of rivers when he should have been studying. Currently he divides his time between British Columbia and New Zealand. He and Fawn his wife and son Julien live in Fernie. Travelling to Taupo for our season allows him to catch up with extended family in New Zealand. Derek’s passion for fishing has continued irrespective of hemispheres. His scientific background provides an additional layer of knowledge.
Mark McGlashan - Property Manager & Hunting Guide
Mark joined the team at Poronui as property manager with an extensive background in farming. His other great passions are hunting and fishing. It was an easy decision for he and wife Julie to come to live on Poronui, and their grown up children Hayley and Brad were very supportive of the move. Mark has been guiding hunters on Poronui for a few years now and is very highly regarded for his knowledge, patience and work ethic.
Always smiling, Christina has been a core part of the team since 2007 and is charged with all the behind-the-scenes work that keeps Poronui running smoothly. She is famous for her attention to detail and keen sense of adventure - a prerequisite of all Poronui people.